DuckDuckGo has introduced Email Protection, a free email service that removes trackers from emails and can forward those emails to other email services, such as Gmail and Outlook. Users can create private email addresses and also deactivate them.
Email Protection is not an email service like Gmail and Outlook, where users can read and create themselves in an inbox. Instead, users create an @duck.com email address, which they can use for other websites and services. For example, if users sign up for a newsletter with an @duck.com email address, that newsletter will go to DuckDuckGo first. The service then removes all trackers and forwards them to the user’s mail service.
DuckDuckGo never says to save the emails or the headers. Images remain available, only trackers will be removed. Users can see in the mail which trackers have been removed. These trackers are used to track people, according to DuckDuckGo. For example, companies can see when an email was opened for the first time, where the user is and which device he or she is using. This information is usually used for analytics or advertising purposes, or sometimes sold to other companies.
Users can create a personal @duck.com address to give to businesses with the DuckDuckGo app and extension. At the same time, they can also create a Private Duck Address to give to companies if they don’t trust a site or app will handle the email address properly. A Private Duck Address is @duck.com email address with any name, such as [email protected] These private addresses can be deactivated, should an address be misused for spam too often.
The Email Protection service is currently in beta and works with a waiting list. DuckDuckGo says it adds people to the service every day. The DuckDuckGo app allows users to join the waiting list. The organization promises to support the email service ‘for the long term’.